This was an interesting and pretty short question which landed in my inbox recently. I thought it may be useful to share my reply here in a blog post. Whilst you may not be after personal tax clients, the same questions and process holds true regardless of the type of clients you want to attract.
Who do you want to attract?
Where are you targeting your marketing efforts on? Existing clients for referrals or new clients? Either way, are you being very specific on who you need to target? If you market to a niche you are more likely to get the right words and phrases to motivate people to work with you personally. If you try to be all things to all people, you will struggle to get any traction with your marketing efforts.
One word of warning: Most personal tax specialists focus on small business owners or high net worth individuals. You will need to be more specific than this with your targeting.
Why should your potential clients buy from you? Or your competitors?
After you have worked out who are you are targeting, you then need to answer the question. Why should these people buy from you? After all if they are going to spend money or spend time moving from one adviser to you, there needs to be a clear reason to do this. This has to be more detailed than ‘I can save you time or money?’. It needs to be at an emotional level, rather than a rational level. It also needs to ideally be far more at a ‘if you work with me I will save you pain now’ rather than ‘it will help you get pleasure in the future’.
Does your online profile back up your marketing claims?
If I then looked at your online profile and footprint, would I come away with an impression that you are a) credible and can do what you say you can do, b) that you really can help me and have proof to show me this? (blogs, PR, testimonials, white papers) Without these in place, I may not, despite the recommendations I have received, give you a call.
How are you getting your message out there and in front of your target audience?
Once you have sorted the above – how are you getting your message out there? Or as Bryony Thomas talks about in her excellent book, Watertight Marketing, what are you doing to turn on the taps? What are you doing on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to market yourself? And this is regardless of how busy your are with client work. Will you join a networking group? Build a referral network from well-placed introducers? Use the internal firm network to pass you referrals? Target other accountancy firms who don’t have a personal tax specialism for referrals?